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  1. Out of options McGowan 'remains a big unknown'

    Jan 25, 2010, 3:47 PM EDT

    Dustin McGowan missed all of 2009 following shoulder surgery and general manager J.P. Ricciardi went so far as to suggest that his career was in jeopardy, but now he’s former general manager J.P. Ricciardi and’s Jordan Bastian reports “the hope is that McGowan will be ready to join the rotation competition” in spring training.…

  2. Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee need a nickname

    Jan 25, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

    At least John McGrath of the Tacoma News-Tribune thinks they do. He starts with a couple of ideas: Is anybody pondering a nickname for the Mariners’ one-two punch? Hmmn. If Hernandez is “King Felix,” his counterpart should also own a title of distinction, something along the line of, say, “General Lee.” King Felix and General…

  3. Neshek on track to be ready for spring training

    Jan 25, 2010, 2:49 PM EDT’s Kelly Thesier reports that side-arming setup man Pat Neshek is “a little anxious” but “on track to be ready for the start of spring training” 14 months after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery. “I just want to face hitters to see where I’m at and get that in my head,” Neshek said. “I want…

  4. Jose Offerman says he was provoked

    Jan 25, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

    ESPN’s Jorge Arangure links a Spanish language report in which Jose Offerman says that the umpire he struck had spoken badly about his mother. I took a bunch of Spanish about 20 years ago and forgot most of it, but I kind of got the gist from the article.  But to be totally professional about…

  5. Surprise! Mets have awful fallback plan at catcher

    Jan 25, 2010, 1:48 PM EDT

    When viewed in isolation missing out on Bengie Molina last week wasn’t really a bad thing for the Mets, because he’s old and overrated and fairly expensive. However, this report from Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News regarding the team’s fallback plan at catcher may have Mets fans thinking differently: Jerry Manuel suggested…

  6. The A's are interested in Sheets, and if not him, Damon

    Jan 25, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

    There’s apparently some money burning a hole in Billy Beane’s pocket, because according to Buster Olney, the Athletics are trying to sign Ben Sheets. Sheets figures to command around $8 million, so either Beane was given some new financial latitude or else he’s been playin’ possum.  A Sheets signing would be a nice move for…

  7. Rays sign 16-year-old lefty from Czech Republic

    Jan 25, 2010, 12:52 PM EDT

    It remains to be seen whether the Rays are interested in giving B.J. Upton a long-term contract, but Tampa Bay did sign Stepan Havlicek over the weekend. Who is that, you ask? Well, he’s a 16-year-old left-hander who pitched for the Czech Republic’s junior national team and now he’s the first European player ever signed…

  8. Oliver Perez is in midseason form

    Jan 25, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    The Mets started a three-day minicamp this morning and all of the New York writers are tweeting from Port St. Luice.  Most of it is “everyone’s happy; everyone looks good.”  Best tweet so far, however, is this dissonant note from Kevin Kernan: At Mets minicamp. Santana looks great. Ollie Perez has already thrown 2 over…

  9. Should the Rays sign Upton to a long-term deal?

    Jan 25, 2010, 11:50 AM EDT

    B.J. Upton and the Rays are only $300,000 apart in their arbitration filings, so the two sides should be able to find a compromise before the hearing. Along those same lines Upton told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that he’d be “all for” working out a long-term contract this offseason. Upton is arbitration…

  10. Is there anything fishy about the Cubs staying in Arizona for spring training?

    Jan 25, 2010, 11:25 AM EDT

    We haven’t really covered this story, but the short version is this:  The Cubs have trained in Arizona for 50 years, but their facilities are getting long in the tooth and they need new digs. Naples, Florida stepped up with a very attractive proposal to lure the Cubs to the Grapefruit League. It appeared as…

  11. A bit more about Grant Desme

    Jan 25, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    This morning Buster Olney said — I think in response to a question a lot of us had, but were too respectful of the man’s decision to ask — that the A’s have no expectation that Grant Desme, the prospect who is leaving baseball to become a priest, is going to change his mind. I…

  12. Could Buster Posey be the next Craig Biggio?

    Jan 25, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

    The San Francisco Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins freely admits that it’s bar talk, not news, but it’s bar talk season so let’s hear him, um, talk: Off-the-wall thoughts bouncing around the 3-Dot Lounge: What if Buster Posey is an infielder, in essence, and not a catcher? And what if he’s hitting .438 with 15 homers in…

  13. Jimmy Rollins' Wedding Album

    Jan 25, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

    In case you’re curious, Jimmy Rollins got married recently and for some reason his wedding photos are public. It looks like it was a really tasteful wedding. Kind of like my own, except (a) Rollins had his reception at some tropical resort instead of the Beckley, West Virginia Knights of Columbus Hall; and (b) instead…

  14. Jeff Francoeur: Good Guy

    Jan 25, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    As D.J. mentioned yesterday, Jeff Francoeur won the “Good Guy Award” at the BBWAA dinner the other night. Really, that’s the name of the award. As described by Brian Costa of the Star-Ledger, it’s given for being, you know, a good guy. Must be a single-year award only, because guys who repeatedly fail to listen…

  15. Scott Boras is still pulling the "mystery team" stuff

    Jan 25, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    With Johnny Damon this time. Here’s Madden at the Daily News: Still, as recently as a couple of days ago, there was renewed dialogue between Damon, Boras and the Yankees in which the Yankees made one last attempt to have a good Yankee remain a Yankee. “Tell us your bottom line for what you’re willing…

  16. Baseball in Orlando?

    Jan 25, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    WFTV in Orlando reports that an exploratory committee has been formed with the purpose of enticing a team to relocate to central Florida. That’s not necessarily significant — I’ve formed a dozen exploratory committees in my life, most dealing with either bringing back “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ and/or getting Todd Rundgren inducted into the Rock…

  17. If Brett Favre rules applied to baseball

    Jan 25, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    NOTE: This starts out about football, goes into an observation about Twitter, but then turns to baseball, I promise. So last night Brett Favre throws an interception that costs his team a trip to the Super Bowl. You think he’s going to be ripped for it, but within minutes of the game ending the ESPN…

  18. UPDATE: Phillies lock up Chooch for three years

    Jan 24, 2010, 9:04 PM EDT

    Update: According to Todd Zolecki of, Ruiz will receive $8.85 million over three years with a $5 million option for a fourth year. 6:04 pm: Jim Salisbury of reports that the Phillies have signed catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year, $9 million contract, pending a physical. Ruiz, who turned 31 on Friday, was…

  19. Diving into the depths: Arizona Diamondbacks

    Jan 24, 2010, 6:05 PM EDT

    This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. Arizona Diamondbacks Rotation 1. Dan Haren 2. Brandon Webb 3. Edwin Jackson 4. Ian Kennedy 5. Billy Buckner 6. Kevin Mulvey 7. Rodrigo Lopez 8. Bryan Augenstein 9. Barry Enright 10. Matt Torra 11. Cesar Valdez The Diamondbacks…

  20. Dodgers to play two exhibition games in Taiwan

    Jan 24, 2010, 5:51 PM EDT

    This news has flown under the radar somewhat this weekend, but the Dodgers announced on Saturday that a split squad team will travel to Taiwan to play two exhibition games against a team from the Chinese Professional Baseball League on March 13 and 14. “We’re very excited to return to Taiwan and continue to strengthen…

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